It’s April and in good Minnesota fashion, three out of five days this week are expected to involve snow. But, according to the good people at Gardening Matters, this does not have to interfere with spring planting. With six weeks till frost free weather (God willing), it’s time to get seedlings started. We’re trying a method from wintersown.org.
We made our own mini greenhouses using empty milk jugs. It’s a simple and fun process. My kids and I think you should try it.
Using a utility knife, cut a horizontal line about four inches from the bottom of each jug. Just cut around three sides of the jug. Leave the fourth side uncut so it can function like a hinge.
By the third one, ours were looking pretty neat:
Then cut at least four slits in the bottom to allow water to drain out. Add soil to the container, leaving about an inch of room at the top.
Sprinkle the soil generously with water. Sow seeds, spacing them as recommended on the package. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Flip the top of the jug back into place. Tape the container closed with clear tape. Label each so you remember what is growing where. Leave the lids off. Place the jugs on the east, west or south side of your house.
And here’s the reassuring part for those of us in northern climates: allow snow to pile on top. As it melts, it will add moisture to the soil. If the containers do not have snow on top and there’s no condensation, then water the seedlings to keep them growing.
So far we’ve planted broccoli, celery and cumin. Once we get another empty milk jug, we’re going to plant some spinach too.